Indholdsfortegnelse. Dommedag Als 29. juni 1864 af Tom Buk Swienty. Den russiske revolution 1917 et folks tragiske kamp for frihed af Erik Kulavig

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1 Indholdsfortegnelse Forord 322 QUO VADIS; NATO? Brigadegeneral Søren Falk Portved The operational level that disappeared? Major Niels Klingenberg Vistisen Shaping the Information Environment in Afghanistan Commander Ingrid Rader, U.S. Navy Den Danske Internationale Brigade fra ide til virkelighed Robert Petersen Danmark i krig: Den danske befolknings støtte til indsatserne i Irak og Afghanistan Malthe Munkøe Nyt fra bogfronten Anmeldelse af: The Insurgent Archipelago. From Mao to Bin Laden af John Mackinlay Anmeldt af brigadegeneral Michael H. Clemmesen Krig og fred i det 21. århundrede. Facts, forestillinger og forklaringer af Bertel Heurlin Anmeldt af institutchef Niels Bo Poulsen Åbent hav af Jørgen F. Bork Anmeldt af kommandør Poul Grooss Den lange vej mod 9. april Historien om de fyrre år før den tyske operation mod Norge og Danmark i 1940 af Michael H. Clemmesen Anmeldt af generalmajor Karsten Jakob Møller Hvad er historie? af Bernard Eric Jensen Anmeldt af institutchef Niels Bo Poulsen Dommedag Als 29. juni 1864 af Tom Buk Swienty Anmeldt af brigadegeneral Michael H. Clemmesen Den russiske revolution 1917 et folks tragiske kamp for frihed af Erik Kulavig Anmeldt af kommandør Poul Grooss Hævn over hævn af Frank Esmann Anmeldt af major (R) Anders Poulsen I krigens fodspor forsvarsbyggerier i Danmark udgivet af Kulturarvsstyrelsen Anmeldt af kommandør Poul Grooss Skrivevejledning 411 Læsekredsen Militært Tidsskrift, 139. årgang nr. 4 januar 2011, s. 321

2 Forord Årets sidste nummer af Militært Tidsskrift går i trykken på et tidspunkt, hvor læserne forhåbentligt slapper af efter et veloverstået arbejdsår. De af tidsskriftets læsere som arbejder i forsvaret eller er beskæftiget med udenrigs og sikkerhedspolitik vil kunne slutte året med at dvæle ved de nye udfordringer, muligheder og problemer som tegner sig på den internationale arena i Alene årets sidste to måneder bød (blandt andet) på sådanne begivenheder som et terroranslag i Stockholm, ratifikationen af den atomare nedrustningsaftale mellem USA og Rusland, kampe mellem nord og sydkoreansk militær og en generel forværring af situationen på halvøen, ny uro om det iranske atomprogram, Wikileak sagen og vedtagelse af NATOs nye strategiske koncept. Skønt en del af disse begivenheder på langt sigt kan vise sig som overfladefænomener, vidner det nævnte og i sagens natur stærkt selektive pluk af hændelser om, at det internationale system er under stadig forandring, og at strategiens og de militære operationers verden konstant udfordres af såvel konkrete fænomener som mere langsigtede og abstrakte tendenser. Nummer 4 er ikke et temanummer, og stoffet er kommet i hus takket være Militært Tidsskrifts skare af altid skrive og debatlystne læsere. Vi håber fra redaktionens side selvsagt, at den positive tendens med mange eksternt generede indlæg vil fortsætte og styrkes. Som det vil fremgå andetsteds i bladet, lancerer tidsskriftets ejer, Det Krigsvidenskabelige Selskab, nu et internetbaseret debatforum, som vil give mulighed for at supplere den trykte debat med debatindlæg i et forum på selskabets hjemmeside. Nummeret indledes med artiklen QUO VADIS; NATO? af brigadegeneral Søren Falk Portved. Med udgangspunkt i Lissabon topmødet analyserer Falk Portved de muligheder og udfordringer, som tegner sig for NATO, herunder risikoen for en fragmentation af alliancen, hvis den igangsatte transformation fra en forsvarsalliance til en sikkerhedsalliance ikke lykkes. I The operational level that disappeared? diskuterer major Niels Klingenberg Vistisen på baggrund af sin udstationering ved ISAF Joint Command i foråret 2010 et antal af ham oplevede problemer i den operative planlægning af oprørsbekæmpelsen. Han kommer på den baggrund med en række anbefalinger til forbedringer. I forlængelse heraf præsenterer Militært Tidsskrift Ingrid Raders artikel Shaping the Information Environment in Afghanistan. Artiklen har tidligere været trykt i Small Wars Journal, og har som sit ærinde at præsentere en række erfaringer indhentet fra ISAF vedrørende information operations (Info Ops), psychological operations (PSYOPS) and public affairs (PA). Derpå følger artiklen Den Danske Internationale Brigade fra ide til virkelighed Forfatteren, phd studerende Robert Petersen, analyserer baggrunden for brigadens oprettelse og dens rolle i forsvarets omstilling efter den kolde krig. Han vurderer, at brigaden fungerede som en overgangsløsning mellem forsvarets traditionelle opgave med at forsvare Danmark og den nye opgave med at deltage i internationale operationer. Sidste artikel i nummeret er forfattet af cand.scient.pol. Malthe Munkøe. I Danmark i krig: Den danske befolknings støtte til indsatserne i Irak og Afghanistan undersøges om der i en nutidig dansk kontekst er en entydig sammenhæng mellem antallet af tab blandt udsendt Militært Tidsskrift, 139. årgang nr. 4 januar 2011, s

3 Forord dansk militært personel og befolkningens støtte til internationale operationer. Det konkluderes, at der i den danske befolkning er en betydelig villighed til at acceptere militære tab, så længe man har indtryk af at udviklingen går den rigtige vej, og at konjunkturerne i krigsstøtten i højere grad udtryk for befolkningens samlede vurdering af den givne konflikt, end en simpel reaktion på antallet af tab. Der rundes som altid af en anmeldelsessektion ved kommandør Poul Grooss. Fra redaktionens side ønskes til læserne et godt nytår, ligesom bidragsyderne takkes for et godt samarbejde i året, der gik. God læselyst Niels Bo Poulsen Chefredaktør Det Krigsvidenskabelige Selskab (DKVS) har opdateret selskabets hjemmeside med henblik på at give medlemmerne nye og forberede muligheder. Overordnet er tre områder på hjemmesiden forbedret. Først og fremmest har medlemmerne nu under menuen Militært Tidsskrift mulighed for at få adgang til selskabets medlemsside (lukket del). Her kan det enkelte medlem downloade og læse Militært Tidsskrift. Samme medlemsside giver adgang til det enkelte medlems egne personlige medlemsoplysninger. Dernæst giver menuen Debatforum medlemmerne mulighed for at deltage i debatter. Fremadrettet vil enkelte indlæg i Militært Tidsskrift indeholde debatoplæg. Hensigten er, at disse oplæg kan blive genstand for debat på selskabets debatforum. Endeligt er menuen Kontakt forbedret, og du kan nu kontrollere dine medlemsoplysninger. Hvis selskabets medlemsoplysninger ikke er korrekte, har det enkelte medlem mulighed for at opdatere disse ved at sende selskabet ændringsoplysninger via mail. Tilsvarende har medlemmerne mulighed for at oplyse e mailadresse. E mailadressen anvendes af selskabet til at formidle informationer om selskabets aktiviteter og øvrige nyttige informationer. Følg med på hjemmesiden: Med venlig hilsen Bestyrelsen 323

4 QUO VADIS; NATO? Af brigadegeneral Søren Falk-Portved, NATO Allied Command Transformation. Indledning Lissabon topmødet i november 2010 var skelsættende for NATO. Den over 60 år gamle militære Alliance er nu på vej væk fra en decideret forsvarsalliance over mod en sikkerhedsalliance. Det nye Strategiske Koncept er en sejr for generalsekretær Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Det varsler nye tider for medlemsnationerne og måden NATO kommer til at arbejde på. Topmødet gav grønt lys for et omfattende reformarbejde og ny tyngde til transformationsprocesserne. Nu skal der leveres, og de kommende måneder vil vise, hvor langt den udtrykte enighed om hvor vi skal hen holder. NATO er den mest succesfulde Alliance i historien. Et nyt kapitel er startet med topmødet i Lissabon. Samtidigt medfører den finansielle krise et behov for utraditionelle samarbejder i Europa, hvor forsvarsbudgetterne er under pres. Dette kan medføre en differentiering af nationerne i NATO, som udmønter sig i små samlinger af ligesindede nationer, der samarbejder på forskellige niveauer. Alt under et fælles politisk strategisk koncept, der udfyldes i forskellig grad, afhængig af nationernes militære formåen og politiske vilje til at deltage. NATO risikerer at gå mod en større opdeling af A, B og C nationer, hvilket kan bringe solidariteten i fare. Baggrund NATOs strategiske hovedkvarter i Norfolk, Virginia, USA er et udtryk for NATOs udvikling gennem årene. Oprettet i 1952 som Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT), beskyttede kommandoen den transatlantiske forbindelse under den kolde krig. Nordatlanten var et nøgleområde, og USA prioriterede over 60 % af sine maritime styrker her. Efter den kolde krig er den amerikanske fokus flyttet til Stillehavet og dermed også prioriteten for deres flådestyrker. For amerikanerne er NATO fortsat forbindelsen til Europa, og cheferne i den amerikanske Pacific Command udtaler ofte uofficielt at: En form for NATO i Stillehavsområdet ville være godt, men det får vi nok aldrig. USA er fortsat et dedikeret NATO medlem, selvom prioriteterne er skiftet. Efter den kolde krigs afslutning og Sovjetunionens sammenbrud blev SACLANT i juni 2003 ændret til Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT). Kommandoen skal forestå transformationen af Alliancens militære strukturer, styrker, doktriner mm. for herigennem at øge den militære effektivitet af NATO. Samplaceringen af SACT og den amerikanske pendant, Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) i Norfolk var et væsentligt element i oprettelsen af SACT. Chefen for SACT og JFCOM var den samme ( dobbelthattet ) og et totalt integreret samarbejde med den største alliance partner i NATO, omkring doktrin og konceptudvikling, var målet. Det kom aldrig til at virke optimalt, og som den sidste amerikanske fælles chef for SACT og JFCOM, general Mattis, udtalte: Hvis en amerikaner fortæller europæerne, hvad de skal gøre, så starter han altid fra en ringere position, end hvis det er en europæer. Med Frankrigs genindtræden i NATOs militære struktur i 2009 ophørte cheffællesskabet med JFCOM. Frankrig blev i september 2009 tildelt chefsposten for den ene af de to strategiske kommandoer i NATO. Kort efter begyndte amerikanerne overvejelser om at nedlægge JFCOM. Den amerikanske invasion af Grenada i 1983 havde vist et stort behov for Militært Tidsskrift, 139. årgang nr. 4 januar 2011, s

5 QUO VADIS; NATO at tænke mere Joint i de amerikanske styrker, hvorfor bl.a. JFCOM blev oprettet. Imidlertid er det de store Combatant Commanders (Central Command (CENTCOM), Pacific Command (PACOM) og Strategic Command (STRATCOM)) opfattelse, at der er meget lidt, der kommer fra JFCOM, som de kan anvende. Med organiseringen af Combattant Commanders var det værnsfælles tilgodeset, og JFCOM havde vanskeligt ved at spænde over hele spektret. Det mest tydelige eksempel på dette var, at konceptet for Counter Insurgency, til anvendelse i bl.a. Irak, blev udviklet af general Petraeus udenfor JFCOM. JFCOM forventes at blive nedlagt som firestjernet generals kommando i løbet af 2011, hvilket sætter SACT i en noget anden situation. Efter Lissabon topmødet er det væsentligt for SACT, at hovedkvarteret er relevant, synligt og lydhør for Bruxelles og specielt synligt i USA. JFCOMs nedlæggelse ses ikke som et problem for SACT, idet der allerede nu er skabt gode kontakter til det politiske niveau i PENTAGON, og andre relevante civile og militære myndigheder i USA. Samtidigt har SACT gjort det klart, at SACT er tænketanken for hele Alliancen inkl. USA. Nyt Strategisk Koncept Det nye strategiske koncept for NATO er en konsekvens af det nye trusselsbillede. NATO er på vej fra en forsvarsalliance til en sikkerhedsalliance med globale aspekter. Der er et stigende antal af asymmetriske trusler fra pirateri til cyber og truslen mod the global commons 1 er reel. De klassiske midler slår ikke længere til, bl.a. fordi den klassiske afskrækkelse over for de nye trusler ikke har nogen væsentlig effekt. Konceptet bekræfter det multidimensionelle trusselsbillede, hvorfor en del af løsningerne på de nye udfordringer skal findes i mere fleksible, effektive og udsendelsesklare NATO strukturer og nationale kapabiliteter såvel civile som militære. Konceptet er på mange måder banebrydende i forholdet til Rusland og indførelsen af et missilforsvar. For Frankrig (og til dels England) er det alt afgørende, at missilforsvar skal komplementere den nukleare afskrækkelse. For Tyskland er målet at fjerne nukleare sprænghoveder fra tysk jord, hvorfor et missilforsvar på en eller anden måde må påvirke den nukleare afskrækkelse. Der er tale om nytænkning og muligvis også et mindre skred væk fra det traditionelle afskrækkelsesdogme, der er forbundet ved nukleare våben. Den finansielle krise kan påvirke Frankrig og England, således at de bliver nødt til at revurdere, om omkostningerne ved denne afskrækkelse som har begrænset virkning mod et land som Iran virkelig er pengene værd. Også på det konventionelle område skal der nytænkning til. NATO skal styrke samtænkningen mellem civile og militære indsatser. De militære midler kan bekæmpe symptomerne (eks.: pirateri) fra et problem (eks.: fattigdom i Afrika), men det er de civile kompetencer under civile institutioner, som er den langsigtede og holdbare løsning på det egentlige problem. SACT ser med disse udfordringer et begrundet behov for at udbygge og styrke de strategiske partnerskaber, der er mellem henholdsvis FN og EU. Det er mange fordomme, som skal overkommes ved sådanne partnerskaber. FN ser overordnet muligheder i et bedre samarbejde med NATO kapaciteter i rammen af samtænkning. FNs udviklings og humanitære side opfatter stadig NATO som et vestligt organ styret af USA. Et tættere samarbejde vil kompromittere FNs neutrale position. Forudsætningen for styrket 1 Er indtil videre et begreb, der omfatter: Det ydre rum, Cyber space, internationalt farvand og luftrum. 325

6 QUO VADIS; NATO samarbejde er øget gensidig tillid, skabt gennem større transparens i respektive beslutninger og agendaer. SACT tilbud om samarbejde er blevet pænt modtaget i FN, men der er en række praktiske forudsætninger, der skal håndteres, bl.a. spørgsmålet om udveksling af klassificerede informationer. I samarbejdet med EU er spørgsmålet om duplikering af omkostningstunge planlægnings og stabsfunktioner en væsentlig detalje, der kan forhindre finansiering og etablering af nødvendige kapaciteter. NATO Defense Planning Process Samtidigt overvejes det, hvorledes civile kapaciteter kan indgå i NATO Defense Planning Process (NDPP). Denne nyskabelse i NATO er ikke gennem sin første cyklus endnu. Der er store forventninger til en planlægning baseret på kapacitetstilgangen, og formålet er naturligvis at få opstillet de rigtige kapaciteter under optimal udnyttelse af de til rådighed værende ressourcer. Der ligger en klar opgave fra Lissabon topmødet, at der inden marts 2011 skal findes nye veje til at tilvejebringe kritiske kapaciteter for NATO på den mest økonomiske måde. Ud fra en række scenarier er der opstillet et behov, som enten kan honoreres af en enkelt nation, flere i fællesskab, som et multinationalt projekt under NATO eller som fællesfinansieret. En opfordring til mindre nationer om at slå sig sammen go from a small nation to a smart nation og opstille en kapacitet. European Participating Air Forces Fighter Wing, ARK projektet for strategisk sea lift og LARK projektet for strategisk air lift er eksempler på dette. Samtidigt er det væsentligt at understrege, at en kapacitet ikke nødvendigvis har noget med materiel at gøre. Counter IED projektet er et udmærket eksempel på dette, hvor taktik og træning er i højsædet. Samarbejde mellem suveræne stater om militære kapaciteter kan være problematisk. Specielt hvis det medfører afgivelse af en kapacitet, der er betragtet som en forudsætning for nationens suverænitet. Suverænitetshåndhævelse i luftrummet, Air Policing", er et eksempel på dette. Industriel protektionisme har forhindret mange samarbejder. Kulturelle forskelle og forskelle på det helt praktiske niveau, så som forskelle i mad, løn, ydelser, friheder, sproglige færdigheder og arbejdsform mm., kan blæses op og blive til uoverkommelige problemer. Alligevel vil de økonomiske realiteter tvinge nationerne til at samarbejde på tværs. Marginale stigninger og for mange en substantiel reduktion i forsvarsbudgetter, og stigende omkostninger til såvel personel som materiel gør internationale samarbejder tvingende nødvendigt. Det nyligt indgåede samarbejde mellem England og Frankrig er et eksempel på dette 2. Supreme Allied Command Transformation SACT, den franske general Abrial, er meget opsat på, at ACT skal være relevant, synlig, lydhør og engageret i det arbejde, som følger af Lissabon topmødet. Generalsekretærens tempo er imponerende, og SACT følger af bedste evne trop. Der er følgende hovedområder, hvor SACT prioriterer sin indsats: Support of Current Ops: Doktriner og træning vil forblive et nøgleområde, som ACT vil bruge mange ressourcer på. 2 Den 2. november 2010 indgik England og Frankrig en aftale om militært samarbejde, der bl.a. omfatter: Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, kompatible hangarskibe, droner, Cyber Security Framework mm. 326

7 QUO VADIS; NATO Emerging Challenges: Tænketanksrollen skal styrkes, og der forventes meget omkring arbejdet med the Global Commons (Cyber, Space mm.) Samtidigt vil grundlaget for missilforsvar skulle gennemgå en revision fra det nuværende, og betydningen af nye teknologier indgår i områder, der skal studeres. SACT råder over en mindre analysekapacitet i form af sit Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre i Lissabon, men det er klart general Abrials forhåbning, at de 18 Centre of Excellence (CoE) vil kunne bidrage til disse arbejder. CoEer vil i det hele taget komme til at spille en større rolle i ACT arbejde, som specialiserede eksperter inden for givne områder. Capabilities: NDPP er ved sin første cyklus. SACT ønsker at være loyal over for processen denne første gang, men udtrykker samtidigt behovet for, at man realistisk forholder sig til eventuelle behov for justeringer undervejs på baggrund af erfaringer. En cyklus på fire år er lang tid for nationerne i vore dage. De nye missioner og aspekter af træning kommer til at indgå. En mere multinational tilgang er nødvendig. SACT er alvorligt bekymret for, at Global Cohesion mistes, idet nationale reduktioner i kapaciteter på længere sigt vil medføre kapacitetsmangler i Alliancen som helhed. NATO må, som en global sikkerhedspolitisk aktør, have en sammenhængende, fuldspektret kapacitet for at bevare sin troværdiged. Han frygter, at ingen i dag er i stand til at overskue dette område, og ser det som ACT opgave. Partners: Lissabon gav et klart mandat til at forstærke indsatsen omkring partnere. In an increasingly complex security environment, where a crisis cannot be dealt with by one nation alone, a holistic Outreach and Partnership Strategy is essential for the Alliance and ACT will play its part in the process of its development 3. Med EU nævnes Complementary and mutual reinforcement. CoEer kan eventuelt også få en EU rolle. Med Rusland er det en Ny Start og ACT er langt fremme med arbejdet. Middelhavs dialogen og Istanbul initiativerne fortsætter. Fremtiden Flere amerikanske generaler har udtalt: All military intervention in future conflicts will be in some kind of coalition. Militært kan USA formentlig godt kæmpe alene; men de skal også økonomisere med kræfterne. Den politiske accept bliver altid større, når flere nationer involverer sig i kamphandlingerne. At NATO og Europa engagerer sig, er derfor af stor betydning for USA. Desværre har det en konsekvens og en omkostning også på områder ud over de finansielle. Caveats 4 er et udtryk for den politiske kontrol med de militære styrker, og det har en militær pris i form af mindre fleksibilitet, større omkostninger og en risiko for en opfattelse af en opdeling af de deltagende nationer i: The leading and the bleeding. Enhver militær chef for en multinational enhed vil i dag have en matrix af Rule of Engagements for de forskellige enheder, og han er forpligtiget til at overholde disse. Det er vilkårene. Udviklingen for NATO nationerne peger således mere end nogensinde før mod samarbejder mellem ligesindede nationer. Nationer med samme typer af caveats og mindre forskelle i deres koncepter for deployering af styrker. Formentlig vil dette give en differentiering af nationer i NATO, på samme måde som vi kunne iagttage under 3 Deputy Commander ACT fremlæggelse på Militær Komiteens møde den 7. december Nationale forbehold og begrænsninger for de militære styrkers indsættelse som følge af love, politik eller andre forhold. 327

8 QUO VADIS; NATO koalitionerne Operation Iraqi Freedom og Operation Enduring Freedom. Nogle nationer var i den indre cirkel i samarbejdet med USA, andre i mere perifere cirkler. På samme måde men inden for det konceptuelle og langsigtede, i modsætning til operationer er udviklingen i de af NATO akkrediterede Centre of Excellence (CoE) 5 ved at differentiere NATO i små coalitions of willing. SACT er på grund af reduktioner i NATOs permanente strukturer tvunget til at anvende disse CoE til meget koncept arbejde. Ligesindede nationer med en fælles interesse opretter for egne midler et CoE for at dyrke og styrke deres speciale. NATO akkrediterer dem som NATO CoE og kan tillægge dem international status af et hovedkvarter, jf. Paris Protokollen. SACT kan alene anmode om at få forskellige studier mv. udført, hvilket CoE dog gerne gør. Meget af NATOs fremtidige militære udvikling vil blive født i disse CoEer. Det bliver SACT opgave, at udviklingen i CoE komplementerer hinanden og ikke differentierer. Afslutning Det opfølgende arbejde efter Lissabon topmødet er igang. Det er omfattende og stort. De politiske hovedretningslinjer er givet, og nu er det op til nationerne i NATO at udfylde rammerne. SACT har meldt sig som en af hovedaktørerne i dette arbejde. Substansen og mulighederne i den fremtidige udvikling af NATO er styret af de økonomiske realiteter og medlemsnationers vilje til at samarbejde på tværs om at stille med, samt udvikle de nødvendige kapaciteter. Denne udvikling er fremskreden med etableringen af en række CoEer og andre initiativer om etablering af kritiske kapaciteter. Ligesindede nationer finder sammen og danner mindre koalitioner i NATO. Den overordnede solidaritet i NATO vil blive sat på en prøve og om Alliancen kan holde til denne udvikling eller marginaliseres, til fordel for koalitioner, er et åbent spørgsmål. 5 Der er per december 2010 akkrediteret 15 CoE ud af 18 planlagte. De akkrediterede er: Centre for Analysis & Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations, Frankrig; Civilian Military Cooperation, Holland; Cold Weather Operation, Norge; Combined Joint Operations from the Sea, USA; Command and Control, Holland; Confined and Shallow Waters, Tyskland; Cooperative Cyber Defence, Estland; Counter Improvised Explosive Devises, Spanien; Defence Against Terrorism, Tyrkiet; Human Intelligence, Rumænien; Joint Air Power Competence Center, Tyskland; Joint Chemical Biological Radiation & Nuclear Defence, Tjekkiet; Military Engineering, Tyskland; Military Medicine, Ungarn; Naval Mine Warfare, Belgien. Danmark deltager i Civilian Military Cooperation, Holland; og Military Engineering, Tyskland. 328

9 The operational level that disappeared? Niels Klingenberg Vistisen, Major, Danish Army. Background of this paper; this paper is conceived and written at the end of my six month deployment to ISAF Joint Command CJ35 FUOPS, as a PSYOPS planner, in the spring of In the beginning I had a great deal of frustration with two things. Mainly the internal works of the command its meetings and its processes. Secondly, I had problems seeing the overarching counter insurgency concept. Realizing that critical papers are always frowned upon within military organizations, I decided to collect my thought and considerations in a paper, where I set out to analyze the full context of the perceived problems and relate them to each other, in order to provide a full and comprehensive paper. Despite the negative outset, I openly admit that I worked with a great number of very competent people, with the best intentions. The purpose is to develop the organization and provide constructive criticism, not to just criticize. Background and thesis The common explanation of the existence of two commands are, that HQ ISAF is up and out, i.e. strategic, while ISAF Joint Command, IJC, was a necessary operational level HQ between HQ ISAF and the regional commands, based on the lack of this level, as identified in This mirrors a similar construct in Iraq, which is associated with the successful ending of the war in Iraq in The reason behind establishing the IJC was thus to include an operational level, that could better direct the actual fight and campaign, than the then HQ ISAF with its very political tasks, many oriented back towards NATO and troop contributing nations. Operational level and operational art The main purpose of this paper is to explore the role of the operational level within ISAF Joint Command Headquarters, the operational level and current application in all ISAF operations, and how the operational level is used in a counter insurgency campaign. In order to investigate the thesis of the lack of a real operational level and operational construct it is beneficial to further define the operational level and what it can entail. The level of war at which campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, and sustained to accomplish strategic objectives within theaters or areas of operations. Activities at this level link tactics and strategy by establishing operational objectives needed to accomplish the strategic objectives, sequencing events to achieve the operational objectives, initiating actions, and applying resources to bring about and sustain these events. These activities imply a broader dimension of time or space than do tactics; they ensure the logistic and administrative support of tactical forces, and provide the means by which tactical successes are exploited to achieve strategic objectives. US Department of Defence 1 1 Operational planning document, US DoD etc. Militært Tidsskrift, 139. årgang nr. 4 januar 2011, s

10 The operational level that disappeared The above US definition appropriately describes the problems concerning the application of an operational level, not only to a counter insurgency campaign, but to all forms of warfare. The operational level is intended to connect the strategic objectives and the tactical actions, via an operational design, carefully thought out and applied. It must be carefully nested within the strategic objectives and desired end states given, and it must adequately direct tactical forces, not just in a synchronized manner over time and space towards desired effects, but ideally in an integrated manner, that is based upon the operational environment considering both own capabilities and that of the opponent. The operational level have often been described as difficult to grasp, and it certainly does overlap into the below tactical level and into the strategic level above it. The exact boundaries are, or can be, fluid. The current NATO operational guidelines for COIN defines the operational level as follows; Operational. The operational level links multinational, national and military strategic objectives to the tactical employment of forces, and the focus is on campaigns and major operations. The operational level requires the use of operational art and design. Operational art is the application of creative imagination by commanders and staffs, supported by their skill, knowledge and experience. The operational design is the framework for the commanders efforts and includes operational objectives. Operational objectives change a condition at the theatre level and are consequently broad in scale and size or space. In COIN, actions at the operational level are normally protracted in nature, as successfully achieving operational objectives requires cumulative tactical successes over time. Achieving strategic objectives similarly requires cumulative operational successes over time. Long range planning, complex situations, large spans of control, and working with other agencies are also indicators for operating at the operational level; however, it is the level of the objective that is the determining factor. 2 The key point of the operational levels importance in COIN is, though, stated in the below paragraph, concerning the corresponding definition of the tactical level, where it in this definition is clearly stated that: Tactical COIN efforts are normally decentralized with a centralized vision and message. However, NATO commanders must avoid having a strategy of tactics. In other words, commanders must have an overarching framework and plans that tactical efforts nest within. 3 This is further exacerbated within the document, regarding the operational design: The development of an operational design is fundamental to operational planning. It represents the formulation of an overarching idea for the operation, based on a general estimate of the situation and the mission analysis, and embodies the commanders intent. Operational design provides design elements to help visualise and shape the operation to accomplish the mission. Elements of operational design help to visualise the arrangement of joint capabilities in time, space and purpose to accomplish the mission. The key to operational design involves understanding the strategic guidance, determining the end state and objectives, identifying the adversarys principal strengths and weaknesses, and developing an operational concept. Operational design for COIN should reflect a comprehensive approach applicable to each phase of the campaign. 2 Bi SC Counter Insurgency (COIN) Joint Operational Guidelines (JOG) 3 Bi SC Counter Insurgency (COIN) Joint Operational Guidelines (JOG) 330

11 The operational level that disappeared The real difficulty at the operational level is to develop an operational design, rising above the doctrinal use of forces at the tactical level. The operational design is a less rigid application of the forces, but carefully managed in order to achieve specific effects on an opponent. The Germans mastered operational art in the early years of World War II, when divisions where orchestrated operationally in campaigns in Denmark and Norway, France, the Balkans and Greece. Notwithstanding the tactical superiority of the German forces, the operational plans were of such quality and ingenuity that they defeated superior forces. The second Gulf War, , saw General Norman Schwartzkopf develop a sound operational plan for the defeat of the Iraqi army in swift maneuver action in the desert. Doctrine alone can be a guideline for operational planning, but never a solution to the extent at the tactical level. Operational planning and design must be tailored more specifically based upon analysis of the opponent, and the cumulative effects of bringing together all available assets in a specific timing, synchronization and where it is applied. The above definition of the operational level centers around the distribution and prioritization of available resources to the tasks of the operational headquarters, and sequencing these tasks. It is explicitly stated, that the operational level implies a broader dimension of time and space than the tactical level. It is important not to relegate the operational level to concern itself solely with this expansion of the tactical level. The operational planning must present the simple, logical series of argument of why exactly this application of tactical assets together will achieve the right effects to achieve the objective. Rarely is an operational plan simply sequencing tactical actions, based on availability and supply. The operational commander, and the corresponding plan, must possess the elusive coup d oie an eye for the operational, and the ability to conform this to the campaign and the battlefield. Tools for the operational plan, and for executing and implementing it into actions, must begin with a concept of operation, which clearly and concisely establishes the comprehensive picture of how the objective is envisioned reached, by exactly the use of forces described. The concept of operation should explain to the reader how all elements on the battlefield come together to achieve the end state. OP OMID - HOPE The standing operational order, IJC OPORD OP OMID, denoting the first operational order from ISAF Joint Command, contains a construct for the development across the combined joint operations area, within its timeframe. This construct consist of lines of operations (5) throughout phase 3 (of the strategic NATO campaign), spanning late 2009 to late The operational goal seems to be to gain the initiative, but the exact wording is obscure. The five lines of operation run parallel in time, with decisive points and a synchronization matrix. The only division in space is by dividing geographic areas into three tiers. The five lines of operation is complemented by a set of supporting concepts, 17 in total, spanning from partnering, over reintegration to medical support. In the annex A of the operational order, the concept of operation is more explicitly written. It is though, more or less, a copy paste of the content of the order main body, although with an expanded explanation, very general, of the Counter Insurgency concept. The tactical concepts of Shape, Clear, Hold and Build are explained in paragraphs, and the tactical succession of these are explained. But, there is no clear phasing or clear logical argument in the concept of 331

12 The operational level that disappeared operation described. All the components are not summed up into a theater wide operational concept of operation. All elements stand more or less alone, and with as many as 17 supporting concepts, there is no real priority between them, or a deeper understanding of a succession or prerequisite of one over another. Certainly, lines of operations are identified, a number of supporting efforts are in place, and a time/space synchronization of most of these aspects occur with the key terrain district road map, but there is no clear description of, how this will come together as a an operational plan that will ultimately succeed. Vignette: Throughout the spring of 2010 two major planning efforts were underway: Freedom of movement and anti corruption, being staffed within respectively future operations and future plans cross functional teams. Freedom of movement aimed at achieving effects within the 60 day horizon, whereas anti corruption were to have effect at the longer term. By June, when the two FRAGO s for the two plans were issued from IJC, they rapidly became known as twins separated by birth by the staff and recipients, mainly because there was so much common ground between the two. The Freedom of movement FRAGO identified corruption as a major hindrance to freedom of movement for the Afghan people, including illegal checkpoints etc. The efforts, recommendations and tasks within these two planning efforts were not sufficiently coordinated during the planning process, which effectively resulting in two unconnected plans on the same issues. This task was very hard to meet by the RC s and others, who were actually to act upon these orders and plans. Besides the lack of connectivity between the planning efforts, it was neither clear where they were nested within OP OMIDs line of operation or supporting concept, nor was it addressed in a larger concept of operations. The two FRAGO s became examples of the lacking operational plan within which they could have nested. Execution of the plan OP OMID serves as the basis of all IJC planning and operations in the realms of current and future operations, and future plans. Overall track of the ongoing efforts and operations are conducted through chief of staff plans steering group, and joint plans update. This is where a tracker is kept over all efforts etc. in order to control output of the headquarters and its sections, and it is overseen by the cross functional team leads and functional leads (CJ2, 3, 4, 9, 10 etc.). In the daily conduct of operations, planning efforts etc. ongoing in the different cross functional teams of IJC, the operational plan is only controlled by the assignment of planning tasks. When a planning team is conducting a planning tasks within a cross functional team, the efforts is hardly coordinated with the rest of the effort, besides residing inside the lines of operation or the supporting concepts. Several examples can be presented to this fact. When a supporting concept like reintegration undergoes continuous planning within future operations, and with cross staff presence, a plan is developed, and a COA is briefed to respectively CoS and COM IJC for approval. Most often, the plan is approved, and a FRAGO issued ordering IJC subordinates to conduct certain activities and reintegration. The Chief of Staff plans steering group reviews and assesses the current planning activities, and gives guidance on the synchronization and prioritization of planning efforts against the operational priorities and on the efforts across the staff, and its cross functional teams. It is more a task managing and tracking forum, rather than a forum for analysis on 332

13 The operational level that disappeared operational art, if nothing else due to the vast amount of planning tasks. Furthermore, the meeting feeds Joint Plans update, and aims at looking over the hill for emerging planning tasks. As a staff function, the chief of plans steering groups and working groups do not amend or guide any sort of operational level plan or concept for conduct of operation, beyond tracking and assigning the individual tasks mentioned above. The cross functional team leads meets weekly to discuss planning efforts, also based on a tasker tracker. It is hardly a forum for analysis and/or debate on the progress of the campaign, and prioritization of the operational plan. The ownership of an operational plan, with its perspective and analysis, as well as a certain application of operational art, belongs to a staff s operations section, heavily influenced by the command level, as well as with input from the intelligence side. In the current construct of ISAF Joint command, with the cross functional teams, the original sections of CJ3, CJ35, CJ5 and CJ2, have been depleted of personnel, fed to the cross functional teams. This effectively means a staff organization prioritized against completing tasks in a hurry, but with little coherency at the CJ level, as the Deputy chief of staff of a branch has very few, or no, staff officers working for him on general operational planning, encompassing all tasks. In reference to the planning process, the individual specified tasks get a lot of attention and effort, while the course of action in its entirety receives little or no attention, or planning effort. It again falls back to a focus on individual tasks, perhaps supporting, but in essence uncoordinated and not properly fitting into an operational construct. This depletion of the original CJ s to the point where they can no longer provide functional area guidance and products were duly noted in a staff assistance visit conducted in the spring of 2010, but no action was hitherto taken to remedy the depletion. The cross functional teams remain the dominating mantra of the IJC. This staff orientation and mantra of completing tasks across the staff results in a huge production of fragmented orders, abbreviated FRAGO s. The month of May saw a production of no less than 98 FRAGO s including daily FRAGO s, from IJC. This must be seen in perspective from the regional command staffs receiving these orders, and are expected to act on them. All fragmented orders refer back to the base OP OMID and its operational design, but the dominance of the individual planning effort is again prevailing over the overall operational plan. The effect on operations conducted is, that the subordinate commands receives, on a regular basis, new fragmented orders on efforts, supporting efforts, etc. that are often not set in context of an overall plan, at least not with the necessary attention to operational art, priority amongst all efforts, and interrelations to all other tasks. This means in practical terms, that while one week RC responsibilities for the ammonium nitrate ban is ordered, without priority, while the following week guidance and orders on reintegration may be issued. While both plans and efforts by themselves are sound, they have not been coordinated, and this cannot be prioritized, or referred back to an operational plan, where their role can be seen as part of a bigger picture. This could have the effect of a campaign being run from one visible effort to the next, shifting often, not sticking to an overall long term plan, and falling back on baseline tactics conducted, rather than following an operational design. Vignette The SIAG Synchronized Information Activities Group, was established in order to coordinate all information activities. The group sits above the functional areas of Information operations, Public Affairs and the PSYOPS Task force. At a working group meeting where the 333

14 The operational level that disappeared process were to be established, there was a bigger group of lieutenant colonels, majors and other staff officers from Information Operations, Public Affairs and Combined Joint Psychological Operations Task Force. The group was looking at tracking a calendar of events in order to figure out responses to these events, as well as tracking stability projects in the working group to get them out as good news stories. Public affairs wanted the group to produce a weekly list of the top three issues that could blow up to the commander; he must know this. Several severe faults, symptomatic of the lacking staff emphasis on operational art, is evident in this process. Synchronization and coordination is only viewed as tracking and assigning tasks in this staff environment. What needed to be done was an operational level analysis and prioritization of Information activities. The current, but not fully identified problem is, that an information operation, like poppy pre planting, can make its way into FUPLANS CFT, undergo a planning effort by a planning team, resulting in a FRAGO ordering a fan of activities and programs throughout the CJOA. The problem being, that such an effort is not being put into context of a planning effort in FUOPS where a FRAGO can order activities in support of Kandahar operations, that collide, in a multitude of ways, with the ones ordered by the poppy pre planting FRAGO. A simple synchronization between all planning efforts is necessary, but needs to be elevated to an operational analytical level. There needs be an operational plan where these information activities must nest. Simply synchronizing planning effort across the staff is mere management. The operational level plan must be based on a planning effort, military information operations mission analysis, where it for example could be deduced that reintegration may the main information activity, over enabling ANSF etc. Only by such an operational plan, can guidance be given to planning efforts within CFTs across the staff, and these planning efforts ensured nested within an overall operational concept. Counter Insurgency Tactics, but nothing more than tactics COIN, as it is described in the manuals by Nagl, Kilcullen and others, and in the guidance given in theater regarding counter insurgency approach, is only a tactic. The concept of counter insurgency with its base premise of protect the population is sound, and particularly applicable at lower tactical levels. There is ample guidance and vignettes on how a soldier, a platoon, or a company should and should not act, in order to win the population. It includes a vast amount of tactical guidance on driving/convoy procedures, ways to avoid civilian casualties at checkpoints, female engagement teams, use of CERP funds at district level, and several other things. Although all these tactical concepts and recommendations are good and well tested, it does not amount to an operational plan or a logical link to the winning of a counter insurgency fight. 4 It is as if the operational plan is to do enough good tactics all over, then eventually the insurgency will be strangled, or the population will finally rise against the insurgency. The COIN concept as described speaks of the population as the centre of gravity, for both parties, insurgents and for us. This is a campaign centre of gravity, but perhaps also an 4 I presented this idea, that COIN is only a tactic and nothing more, to quite a few people at the headquarters, IJC / ISAF, even senior officers with experience in COIN from this and other theaters, and they all reacted with a certain amount of surprise and realization. They all agreed and most conceded after a few minutes of deep thought: you are right, I have not actually seen it like that before. 334

15 The operational level that disappeared operational center of gravity. The significance of the strategic importance is directly transferred to the tactical level, where protecting population is also a center of gravity and a key concept of COIN. There is thus a big focus on the protection the population. The problem with it being a strategic center of gravity though, is the obvious and likely possibility of it being almost forgotten in the operational planning part. There is to strong a focus on it, at both the strategic and tactical level, which is difficult to apply and adapt to the operational level and in an operational plan or concept, besides the tactical focus. COIN is a complex concept to understand for most militaries, and it is a relatively new conception, its current form ascribed to the change of tactics and strategy that was implemented by US forces in Iraq in A natural outcome of this complexity is a limited capability, to further develop the concept, and a tendency to adhere to it to blindly, not adapting to both the specific conditions and the operational level. Moreover, the COIN concept have been revered almost as a religion in military circles, people frequently describing Gen McChrystal as a preacher preaching COIN with religious conviction 5. These things combined compounds to soldiers, all levels up to and including generals, understanding the importance of doing COIN, but not really understanding COIN and how it should be managed and manhandled at the operational level. 6 In such a situation it becomes natural to focus on understandables, that is the tactical aspects of COIN, and how it is conducted. If this psychological conditions takes hold of an organization, like a higher headquarters like ISAF Joint Command, and to some degree ISAF HQ, it will, by sheer mass, smother any attempts to develop a sound operational concept, being to focused on, and spending far to much staff focus on, tactical levels. This results in an information overflow, and a sort of micromanagement in both current operations and planning efforts, that are counter productive to the staff level concept of the operational level. CAAT and Red Team ISAF has a Counter Insurgency Assistance and Advisory Team (CAAT) as an in theater think tank about the conduct of COIN, and thus in many ways a lessons learned center. This CAAT could provide the vital link between the conduct of the campaign and the appropriate theory and doctrine behind COIN, in order to point out the lack of a cohesive operational plan. Instead, the CAAT conducts courses for low level coalition force commanders in COIN tactics, per above. This is no doubt influenced by the above conclusion that COIN, in its current availability, is only a tactic, lacking an operational aspect. CAAT thus becomes a lessons learned and teaching center for tactical level COIN. The red team, of which one is attached to IJC, analyzes operational plans in order to identify critical and decisive points, and to point out those where the risk or the consequence is highest. The analysis of the plan is still based on the soundness of the general plan and concept, not questioning the approach as a whole, but rather identifying the points of severe risk. All analysis is based on the premise that assumptions and facts of the original order are correct. The Red Team can thus not alter or suggest changes and flaws in the overall 5 I experienced this description myself, when discussing these subject with several officers from ISAF HQ, attending meetings with Gen McChrystal. In my assessment, it correlates well with the general impression of the HQ and its working atmosphere. 6 This development would be further exacerbated by any level of typical group think which easily can take hold in higher military staffs, either as a whole, or within certain branches. 335

16 The operational level that disappeared campaign concept, but only point at individual parts of the plan, that are associated with risk or grave consequence at failure. This stays well in line with the rest of IJC focus on singular efforts and tactical level operations. Where the CAAT and the Red Team effectively could have provided a sanity check to the overall concept, or pointing out the lack of cohesion in plan and the lacking overall operational plan, it becomes, rather as the rest of IJC, predominantly focused on individual, isolated efforts. Effects Based approach to operations The use of objectives and effects were a part of the planning conducted at ISAF Joint command, and they were duly identified during planning and orders. But the proper use of effects calls for a very thorough systems analysis and system of systems analysis at a country level, if the correct effects are to be identified. The correct effects are exactly the effects, if achieved by the combined team, will ensure the objective. These effects will then determine the carefully planned actions that the combined team take, in order to achieve the effects and in turn reach the objective. The magnitude of the campaign, as well as conflicting doctrine, nevertheless, hampered the appropriate use of objectives and effects at IJC. In British doctrine the use of Effects are as described above, with a careful analysis of what Effects, with capital E, must be achieved. The American doctrine, rather, speaks in terms of endstate, method and tasks. This confusion is evident in the daily use of the word effects and how it affects planning and the fragmented ordering described above. When conducting planning, effects for a planning effort is identified. Relaying back to the examples of Freedom of Movement and Anti Corruption, the respective planning teams sets out to identify the actual affect needed to be achieved to reach the objectives. Each planning effort begins with the identification of a desired end state, which inherently is wrong when done in a fragmented planning team, and not part of an overall identification of the necessary effects, but rather a spawn of further effects being added continuously. The mechanism to curb this, the Joint Plans Update, has been described above as insufficiently capable of managing it. Particularly, when planning based on emerging tasks and objectives, the process adds a large number of tasks and actions to the whole campaign, actually complicating the conduct of the counter insurgency fight. One of the main reasons for this is the application of effects in planning. When effects are not derived as part of a delicate analysis of the system that the effect is intended on, effects becomes nothing more than a list of all the possible actions than can be directed towards the objective, often based upon the capabilities at hand, rather than the needed effect. Effects actually comes to represent actions, rather than actually desired effect per NATO doctrin. Theater vs. operational level It can be discussed if ISAF Joint Command, in the current (2009/2010) construct of ISAF forces is truly an operational command, when considering the level. IJC is responsible for the campaign in and down in Afghanistan, essentially leaving the international relations, and ministerial level relations to HQ ISAF. If ISAF HQ is strategic, then IJC must be the operational level below it. One issue is that the RC level is also to a great extent operational, and not merely tactical. A regional command owns it s battle space, operations area, and a 336

17 The operational level that disappeared large number of assets, combined/joint, effectively making the RC span of responsibility an operational level. The RC has to combine assets and units not normally available to a normal maneuver division. The inclusion of extensive strategic communication, so that there is a large (local) political dimension, is beyond the normal military responsibilities. The planning of the campaign at RC level also has an operational aspect, in that it is over time within a large battle space, with several separate units, Task Forces. ISAF Joint Command is roughly the equivalent of a corps command, its commander being a three star general, its core derived from a standing NATO corps command. But its responsibilities are not according to the traditional military corps role. IJC owns no units, as the RCs are a special subordinate, with many national caveats from RC to RC. 7 There are virtually no corps level assets to assign to the different RCs over time and/or space. During processes within IJC it is often stated that the commander IJC (Gen Rodriquez) is an asset for the fight, sending him out for key leader engagements at Kabul level, and sending him down to RCs to create publicity. 8 Whether or not this should actually be considered a corps level asset, proactively, can be debated, but in the sense it seems to be the only corps level asset to be coordinated and assigned makes the corps rather impotent besides planning and guidance. There are also no operations spanning RC borders. That is, actual operations, not lines of operation, and not counting effort that are taking place within each region. The corps level leadership and guidance would be appropriate in a maneuver scenario where the subordinate divisions would be moved, directed and there would be a need for large cross divisional boundary coordination. In ISAF RC boundaries are fixed, and there are no cross boundary operations. All operations take place within a RCs assigned battle space, and are naturally lead from the RC HQ or below. The corps level operations described above are not a corps lead operation, which requires corps level real time guidance between RCs, but rather just an order to the RCs to plan according to the decided line of operation, not an operation actually ran by IJC. It thus seems more like the IJC has a theater level role, rather than an operational role. US operational level throughout history The operational level, as a command level between the tactical and the strategic level, did not become part of US military doctrine until Up until then, planning only took into account the tactical and the strategic level. This is also evident if briefly analyzing relevant part of US military history, with the purpose of drawing evolutionary connections between wars. This could potentially show where this lacking operational level stems from, also separating it from the COIN concept and providing more context behind operational level planning in war. 7 The relationship is formally OPCON, as a RC as a whole, but for all practical purposes, the actual forces attached to a RC HQ is delivered in a sort of TACON( ) to NATO, not even to the RC s. This leaves no opportunity for command levels to transcend any national boundaries with 40 troop contributing nations. 8 This has been discussed several times during the activities process in IJC, and repeatedly the battle field circulation or key leader engagement of COM IJC was described and sold as a corps level asset. 9 According to information from US officers 337

18 The operational level that disappeared North Africa During the allied campaign in North Africa the missing operational level, or at least the arguable lack of operational level direction and use, was evident in the development of the campaign. Eisenhower s army headquarters were purely strategic, with no operational guidance to subordinates. The HQ was to far from the front, Gibraltar, subsequently Algiers, to have any influence on events, and the commanders very few visits to the front, and front units, is another sign of this. Arguably, there were two corps headquarters at the Tunisian front by early 1943, but these did not either fulfill the operational level role. If diving into the southern most of these two corps, the US?? Corps, its actions during January April 1942 clearly demonstrates the lacking operational level planning, and the whole (necessary) understanding of such a level. The US divisions fought piecemeal battles, and were committed in operations of either very limited scope, or with an intent that might have had operational aspects in it, by itself, but it was never coordinated into a larger operational scheme, neither in time or space. The US division and corps level commands were not able to cope with the unfolding situation in Tunisia, perhaps because there was no operational level plan. It must also be argued, that the US Army at this time of the war had not developed its skills sufficiently, and that much of it was a learning process. But the criticism is not only towards the lacking execution, but rather the fact that no one in the chain of command, from regiment/battle command and up through division, corps and army had any notion of the operational level, nor felt the need to improve this during the campaign. Diving into more specific actions, the US divisions in the south, the 1 st armored, the 1 st infantry and the 58 th infantry, fought in such a large geographic area, and along lines of advance that were separated by terrain, that the operational aspect should play a big role. Despite this, the US commands did not work together under a common operational plan, which is evident in the uncoordinated actions, and the hurried shifting of armored regiments and battle commands from the 1 st armored division, to various front sections where the situation developed unfavourly for the Americans. There was, arguably, a succession of plans to use either route of advance as a main effort, with an operational idea of cutting of the Panzer Armé Afrika in the south, from the German army in the north of Tunis. Thought into context with the advance of the British 8 th army from the south, this resembles the skeleton of an operational plan, but it did never fully develop into a such, because it was never developed beyond the short term end state of driving to the sea at Bizerte. The fact that the plan thus was launched without the proper analysis at the operational level resulted in; no results and a petered out effort. The accurate descriptions of the interactions of the various staffs, and the replacement of a number of generals throughout the campaign also bear witness to this. The orders given by US I Corps staff in February and March 1942 can hardly be described as operational, often being to late, and generals focusing more on internal problems, and a tendency to view setbacks, halts, as a result of Generals not being able to control the tactical situation. Agreed, the Generals could not adequately control the tactical situation, but neither should they. They should have let the colonels of the regiments master the tactical battle against the German forces, all the while ensuring the operational aspect. It never happened. Normandy and the campaign in France

19 The operational level that disappeared The allied campaign in France from the Normandy landings and well into august lacked a general operational concept. It was to a large extent played by ear, and was more a coincidental series of successes, rather than an actual operational plan that played out well. It can well be argued that adjusting flexibly to emerging situations and opportunities, but certainly not in a campaign of this magnitude. Many studies have been conducted into the June and July actions in Normandy, often centered around Montgomery s claim that it was always part of the plan that British forces were to draw German forces towards the Caen sector, to enable US forces to break out at the bottom of the Cotentin peninsula. It is consensus that this is not true, and that the actual plan to draw forces to Caen to allow breakthrough at Avranche was more of a post facto conclusion, rather than an operational design. Large forces were wasted in a series of British operations around Caen, with no operational outlook as to what this were to accomplish, and how, in the spirit of operational art, played together with the US advance on the Cotentin and the German capabilities. Large operations such as Goodwood were immense in size and use of resources, but with limited tactical scope and no success. This operational conduct achieved little, even in the sense of wearing down German forces, who with relatively few assets were able to check the allied pressure. The allied tactical pressure won in the end, by sheer strength and mass, but not as part of an operational plan to outmaneuver the enemy, and with eyes on further operational objectives, such as Paris, or effective destruction of German forces in France. Even though the Falaise pocket hurt the German forces and caused severe losses to them, it could possibly have achieved much more, had an operational plan been in place directing actions. The allies had to keep pressure on all places awaiting development, only then trying to exploit it in order to achieve an operational effect that would only develop along with operations. The August and September drive across France, in pursuit of a battered German force, exacerbated the lack of operational design, as resources had to be divided between armies. It assigned no clear priority, based on operational designs, to either of the advancing armies. There was no clear idea of whether it would be the northern British armies or central or southern US armies which would deliver the operational effects of crossing the Rhine into Germany. Not until the advent of operation Market Garden did an operational plan develop that had a clear perspective and operational aims and objectives. The operation failed for various reasons, and the campaign faltered back into the usual massive across the front pressure from August and September days. Summary This paper was intended to point to the lacking operational construct of the counter insurgency campaign in Afghanistan 2010, and to identify some of the operational planning flaws of the ISAF Joint Command. It is discernible that the current operational order, OP OMID does not actually achieve the purpose of an operational plan, namely to present a logical, coherent concept of operation, to properly explain how the described lines of operation and supporting concept exactly comes together above the tactical level, to achieve synergy and defeat the insurgency nationwide (and perhaps wider) in Afghanistan. Especially when designed after a proven, but tactical, counter insurgency concepts, it could have been an ambition for OP OMID to achieve the operational level of design and coup d oie instead of settling for a simple synchronization of key terrain districts, where tactics are employed. 339

20 The operational level that disappeared The construct of the ISAF Joint Command, innovative as the cross functional teams are, nevertheless present a number of serious challenges to attaining proper leadership of the operational managing of the campaign, but much of the reason for this must be found in the underlying and surrounding factors regarding COIN and OP OMID. The basis for all of these deficiencies must be found in the other presented subjects in this paper, namely the fact that COIN as we know it is only a tactic, and that its religious importance compounds officers to rely on it. Combine that with the cultural lack of the operational level, and the tendency to rely on overwhelming amounts of tactical action, that inevitably must win, as a deeply rooted concept in the minds of officers. These two facts went together into the first OP OMID and gave it its distinct tactical content and lack of an innovative operational construct for the Afghanistan campaign. To execute this operational campaign plan, the IJC was constructed, with no clear role void between ISAF HQ and the regional commands. The outcome of all of this was a slightly mismanaged campaign in the first year of life of IJC. No doubt, all officers, men and units did their best under the construct and circumstances, but the outset was so compounded by above factors, that it had to reflect on the daily workings and control of the headquarters. Perspective for an operational level in Afghanistan The need for an operational level, and an operational construct, is a given in any campaign, lest it be a strategy of tactics, as described earlier. The campaign in Afghanistan is not lost to the application of a logic coherent operational plan. The initiative is in many ways on the fence as the population is so often described. This means there is every opportunity to seize the initiative. It requires planning on how to seize it, and real operational planning that is. Planning that would start with the whole environment, and couple all the lines of operation and supporting concepts, and show their interdependence and reinforcing, above and beyond a sequencing of the decisive points in a campaign. The opportunity in a fighting environment where everyday business is well conducted by the regional commands, to elevate the operational command s focus towards a true operational level, without deliberately meddling into tactical affairs and incidents, is fully present. It just needs to be grasped. Planning the operational concept would focus on the key concepts, not 17 supporting. It would establish a logical and simple concept of the overall campaign, and leave the tactical planning to the regional commands. The operational level that disappeared I set out in this study to capture some of my observations of IJC through my deployment. I outlined what I saw and what I found, and none of the criticism above is directed towards the many of the fine individuals I worked with. Rather, it was intended to point towards some of the culturally inherent problems facing a complex counter insurgency fight, compounded by history, duration, construct of command and headquarters and so on. I hope succeeded in pointing towards some key challenges, on many different levels, in order to create awareness. Awareness should hopefully create the opportunity to catch the problems before they arise and improve the conduct of the campaign. 340

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